Why Working Dogs are Modern Day Heroes

Working dogs are designated breeds that do some serious work to help others.  They undergo intensive training and have natural talents. Most importantly, they are strong, courageous and have a good temperament.  Let me walk you through the most common types of working dogs.

Rescue Dogs

The main task of rescue dogs is to locate missing people in traumatic situations such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other disasters. They have exceptional senses, incredible physical strength and great agility. Their heightened sense of smell makes them locate lost individuals in hard-to-reach areas. For the dogs to perform the demanding jobs of a rescue worker, they undergo intensive training. Such breeds include the German shepherd, Bloodhound, Golden Retriever, and Belgian Malinois. These dogs are walked by a small team on foot.

Detection/Sniffer Dogs

They are used by police forces and the counter terrorism unit to detect illegal drugs, weapons, bombs, currency, and other items. Due to their strong sense of smell, they are used by biologists as a research tool. The best detection breeds are the German shepherds and Beagles.

Therapy Dogs

These dogs help the sick people recover quickly. Their loving presence gives therapeutic effects that help in release of endorphins. They are specifically trained to help patients achieve their specific treatment and program goals. Surprisingly, any breed is eligible to become a therapy dog. However, the dog must be non-aggressive and human friendly. The foundation of training such dogs is based on socialization.

Herding dogs

They are basically born for different herding jobs. However, some must undergo training to become expert herders. Herding dogs are able to work well with different types of livestock like cattle and sheep. The best breeds suited for the various herding jobs include Shetland sheepdogs, Cannan dogs, and German Shepherds. These dogs are naturally protective.

Police dogs

These dogs are trained to assist police in variety of tasks like holding suspects or investigating a crime of scene. Among the best breeds suitable for the task include Belgian shepherd dogs and Doberman Pinscher.

Assistance and service dogs

They are trained to help the physically and mentally challenged with their daily activities. The most common type of service dog is the guide dog. It’s trained to help a blind person perform certain tasks. Other types of service dogs include the hearing dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and mental health service dogs. It’s quite easy to identify service dogs since they wear special vests.

There are other types of working dogs out there beyond this list. It’s time you discover the amazing jobs your dog can do.

About the Catahoula and the People Who Own Them

The Catahoula Leopard Dog originated in northern Louisiana, and it’s original job was to drive herds of livestock to slaughter.  These smart dogs are great dogs for competitions in dog shows for agility, obedience and rally events.

As a watchdog, he can be relied upon to watch over you and your home.  To his family he is loyal, gentle and affectionate and loves to clown around. He must be trained properly as his independent nature needs a firm leading hand.  He can live happily either indoors or out, however, he needs a fenced yard with lots of human friends.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog has very distinctive eyes, many times each eye is a different color of blue, green, brown or amber.  Their coat is short or medium length that can be spotted in distinctive patterns.

Here are some recent comments from Catahoula Leopard Dog owners that we interviewed and will add more as we complete our research.

“…………Jade is my Catahoula Leopard Dog and she has been part of our family for 10 years.  I am a runner, and this dog keeps me in shape.  We run every morning and night, and Jade keeps me safe if we’re out late at night.  When she was a puppy we invested in dog training classes and it was the best thing we did.  She is very stubborn and you have to know how to handle her………..”

Dave B, Chicago, Illinois

“………Our Catahoula Leopard Dog has one blue eye and one brown eye.  I just love looking at him.  My husband bought him from our neighbor 3 years ago, and we had to be very patient with the dog at the beginning.  He wasn’t trained properly, that’s why our neighbor didn’t want him anymore.  Luckily, my husband owns a construction company, and is very used to stubbornness.  He quickly showed Shane who was boss and we haven’t had a problem since……

Blair J., Sarnia, Ontario

“………Our family needed a guard dog and we adopted Brody from a shelter.  We looked into the breed and were satisfied that this dog would be a great fit for our family.  I run a bookkeeping service from home, and have many clients that come to see me often.  At first Brody was rather shy and did some growling, but in time, he got used to the traffic of people and is fine.  The only issue I have is that this dog needs so much exercise!  Oh well, keeps me in shape.

………Laura F, Toronto Canada

“……We have a farm in Iowa, and last year decided to get a Catahoula Leopard Dog.  Daisy is very independent and stubborn, and although she makes a good watch dog, we are having a lot of issues with nipping.  My kids can’t run outside because Daisy runs after them and tries to nip at them.  I’ve just hired a dog trainer and hope that this will help……….

Darla V, Bonaparte, Iowa

“…..I’ve had Dexter now for 5 years.  He is the perfect dog for my hobby ranch in Colorado Springs.  He spends his days herding my cattle and making sure they don’t get into trouble.  I was warned that the breed was hard to handle but my Catahoula listens to me just fine.  I am a painting contractor by trade, and store much of my supplies and tools at the ranch.  Dexter is the perfect watch dog for my family and my business.  I recommend this breed but only if you take the time to professionally train him.  ……………

Tim H, Colorado Springs.

My Catahoula Leopard Dog comes to work with me every day.  His job is to pick up debris and pile it up, and he’s great at it. I own a demolition company in Toronto and Hank and I spend countless hours on board of my excavator. Hank was a rescue dog from Northern Ontario, and I’m so happy we have him.

………Doug J, Toronto, Ontario

So, One May Ask, Why Would Anyone Get This Dog?

Catahoula Leopard Dogs live happy lives on a farm or ranch that lets them work stock.  They were never intended to become a house pet and some of their natural behavior

is not suitable for a household environment, although lately they have grown in popularity as house pets.  They are very high energy and it is difficult to give this dog enough socialization to suppress their natural protective instincts against a stranger.  A lot of exposure to people that are friendly is needed in order for the dog to know the difference between a stranger and a friend.  If this is not adhered to, some Canahoula Leopard dogs will be so frightened that they will turn to biting strangers.

This aggressive dominant breed has a difficult time with other animals.  Their natural instinct is to chase and catch cats and other animals, and they don’t get along with other dogs of the same sex.  If this dog is not properly trained it may hurt or kill other animals.

Training these working dogs is not an easy task.  They are very intelligent but they have an independent mind so one can call them stubborn.  Some of them want to be the boss, therefore, consistency and firmness in training is an absolute must.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is a particularly clever and active dog. They are happiest when they have something to do. They are a working breed and need a “job”, therefore, may not be suitable for everyone.  The Catahoula is therefore more suited to a farm than in town. Catahoulas are excellent workers for herding, hunting, and tracking.  They protect their homes and their family through thick and thin.

As a guard dog, the Catahoula does not have to be everyone’s friend, although he is loving, intelligent and loyal to his master.

This is an athletic dog that needs minimum 1 hour of running daily or he can become destructive.  He is very focused and assertive when doing his ‘job.’

Chatahoulas need to be socialized as they are reserved and skittish with strangers.  They also can be dominant with other dogs, especially of the same sex and don’t always adapt to a multi-pet environment.  Whatever you do, don’t touch his food!

It is a must that the owner of a Catahoula Leopard Dog be a confident leader because this breed is independent and they like to take charge.  Unless you are an experienced dog handler, a dog training course is a must.  As long as this dog is able to work, he will be a great companion.  However, if he is bored, he will be too much to handle.

If one is looking for a medium, athletic work dog or a keen watch dog who thrives on vigorous exercise, who’s coat is easy to groom and has very unusual color patterns, this may be your dog.

However, if you are not interested in regular vigorous exercise, this dog will get bored and be very destructive.  He is hot well socialized and is aggressive towards other animals.  He is often rowdy and jumps up a lot and can spot a weak owner and quickly walk all over him.  This breed chases and nips at anything that moves and is not intended to be a household pet.